Slaying the Beasts

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The New England Patriots always seemed like the unsolvable problem but the issue was never figuring out how to solve the problem.

Figuring out the Pats was never the impossible thing to do as the blueprint has been there for a very long time.

To beat the Patriots teams needed to beat Tom Brady and the only way to do that is to do what any team has to do to a pocket passing quarterback, get in his face and make him uncomfortable.

It’s not new as pocket passers have always needed a certain level of protection to ensure they can go through their progression and find the open man.

The best of these pocket passers can devastate a team if they get comfortable as they begin to see the game much clearer when they don’t have to think about the rush.

So to get them off of their game defences need to find a way to get to the quarterback and make him think about that rush and make him uncomfortable.

Doing that makes them doubt how much time they have and often forces bad passes too soon because they can feel the pressure.

Brady is not like every other quarterback but he still has that weakness as he does need to be comfortable to find his rhythm in a game.

Getting in his face has always been the way to shut him down and when he can’t get into a rhythm he is nowhere near as effective.

With that in mind, it seemed pretty clear to every team on how to beat the Patriots but it never seemed that simple when the game actually began.

That is because the Patriots and the Brady never needed all that much time to find a groove.

Although teams could shut him down with great pressure they could never shut him down for four straight quarters.

That was the challenge of beating the Patriots and more than a few teams learned the hard way that taking the foot off of the pedal was not the way to go.

Although pressure on most pocket passers can affect them throughout the game even if the pressure isn’t there at the end of the game.

Brady never let it affect him mentally as teams needed to be in his face throughout the game to give him no time to make a decision and not just make him think there is no time.

A failure to bring that pressure throughout the game would never lead to a successful game for the other teams which Atlanta and Jacksonville know all too well.

That constant pressure that is needed made it so tough to beat the Patriots and heading into Super Bowl LII the Eagles knew what they had to do to beat a team that nobody thought could lose.

They had to get in Brady’s face and do that throughout the game without letting up at any moment.

It was the strategy that the Eagles needed to use on every single play on both sides of the ball because no matter what happened the Patriots always had a chance.

Without that constant pressure on Brady he would get comfortable and without the constant attempt to put up points they could try to put things out of reach at the end of the game.

That strategy worked well for the Eagles as they put it in place right from the start with Nick Foles marching in the first drive.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t put up the points they wanted but they still put up points and kept the ball out of the hands of Brady.

When the Patriots finally did get their shot the Eagles were all over the backfield making life uncomfortable for the league MVP.

They continued to do both throughout the first half and like so many teams before them headed into the locker rooms at halftime with a lead, albeit only 10 points.football-sidebar

This is the point where other teams struggled to keep up the pace and where the Patriots began to climb back.

That was seen again as the Patriots did find their way back but unlike so many other teams the Eagles were right there with them.

They were going shot for shot with the defending champions and were keeping that pressure one rather than crumbling under the pressure of the Patriots.

The stats don’t show the pressure that the Eagles kept on the Patriots but in the fourth quarter they finally put a sack on the board and it was the most important.

With the lead, the Eagles sacked Brady and forced a fumble giving them a chance to put up the points they needed to win.

With the ball back they kicked a field goal to go ahead by eight leaving the Patriots with very little time to try and find their way back into the game.

They couldn’t pull off the miracle this time and the Eagles took the win with an obvious strategy executed to perfection.

The Patriots reign came to an end although they aren’t likely going anywhere while the Eagles took their first Super Bowl and only seem to be starting something in the NFC.

It was always an easy solution to the Patriots and their dominance but the execution of that strategy seemed impossible.

The Eagles figured it out putting up the perfect game at the perfect time and for that, they will take home the Lombardi Trophy as the best team in the league.

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